The Arkansas Senate voted yesterday to override Governor Mike Beebe's (D) Tuesday veto of a bill that bans abortion at twenty weeks. The Senate voted 19 to 14 in favor of overriding the veto following a House override vote of 53 to 28 on Wednesday. In Arkansas, a majority vote in both houses is the only requirement to override a veto and pass a bill into law. The passage of the bill makes Arkansas the tenth state to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks.
Beebe vetoed the bill on claims that it was unconstitutional. Additionally, the 20 week ban violates the legal threshold enacted by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has held that bans on abortion before a fetus is viable are unconstitutional. Viability usually occurs after the 24 week mark.
The state legislature also approved a bill outlawing abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected through an abdominal ultrasound, which typically occurs at 12 weeks. The bill now goes before Governor Beebe, who is expected to veto the legislation.
Media Resources: New York Times 2/28/13; Reuters 2/28/13; Feminist Newswire 2/28/2013, 2/14/2013
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .